A rally was taken by Dalit Christian and Muslim groups to press the government on implementing the recommendations of Justice Ranganatha Misra Commission that called for equal SC status to all Dalits irrespective of religion.
The rally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on March 15 saw over 15,000 people shouting slogans at the delay of government in amending para 3 of Constitutional Order 1950 that excluded Christians and Muslims from the Scheduled Castes net.
Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar, CPM leader Brinda Karat, President of Janata Dal United Sharad Yadav and other political leaders addressed the rally promising their support for ending religious discrimination and upholding a 'secular India'.
"We consider your demand genuine and assure that, we are with you. In this regard, our party has already written to the Prime Minister of India. Today again I demand the same on behalf of my Party," MP Brinda Karat said.
MP Ali Anwar in his speech warned that the UPA government will face serious worriment in the forthcoming elections if it does not extend SC status to Muslims and Christians.
The rally - organised by the National Council of Dalit Christians and All India Pasmantha Muslim Mahaj - demanded that the bill to include Christians and Muslims be brought in the present session of the Parliament.
The UPA government has apparently tabled the Misra report in the Parliament but has failed to assert its stand in the issue.
The Misra report clearly states that non-inclusion of SC Christians and Muslims in the SC list is a discrimination based on religion and goes against Article 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution of India.
It emphatically states that religion must be de-linked from caste and that the discriminatory para 3 of the Constitution order (SC) 1950 should be deleted.
Rally reiterates demand for SC status to Dalit Christians
Published 18 March 2010 | Babu Thomas